Da Vinci Surgical Robot Lawsuit

Dozens of plaintiffs around the country have filed da Vinci robot lawsuit claims against Intuitive Surgical, Inc., the manufacturer of the da Vinci Surgical System. These lawsuits allege use of the robot led to serious and sometimes fatal complications in patients who underwent hysterectomies, prostatectomies, and other robotic surgery procedures. Da Vinci lawsuit plaintiffs have also made some disturbing allegations regarding the safety and efficacy of the Da Vinci robot, as well as the adequacy of the methods Intuitive used to train surgeons on the device. If you would like a free case review and would like to speak with a attorney, please contact us now to go over your potential claim.

Allegations Put Forth in da Vinci Surgery Lawsuit Filings

da vinci surgical robot lawsutAs of October 2013, at least 50 da Vinci surgery lawsuit claims had been filed in courts around the country, according to Intuitive Surgical. These lawsuits claim that use of the robot caused patients to suffer a wide range of serious complications, including:

  • Surgical Burns
  • Torn Blood Vessels
  • Organ Damage
  • Vaginal Cuff Dehiscence
  • Excessive Bleeding
  • Infections
  • Permanent Disability
  • Death

Plaintiffs who have filed a da Vinci surgery lawsuit further allege that these injuries were the result of defects in the device. For example, some cases place blame on the da Vinci’s use of a monopolar current, which plaintiffs claim can allow electricity to jump from the surgical site to other locations in the body, resulting in surgical burns

A number of da Vinci surgical lawsuits also fault Intuitive Surgical’s allegedly inadequate training methods for patient injuries. According to these claims, the company provides doctors with two days of training on the da Vinci, utilizing pigs and cadavers. However, robotic surgery lawsuit plaintiffs assert that hundreds of operations are often needed for a doctor to master the robot.

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Da Vinci Robot Lawsuit Trials and Settlements

In May 2013, Intuitive Surgical won the first trial involving a da Vinci robot lawsuit. The case, which was filed in Washington State Court, involved a man who died of complications he allegedly sustained in a robot-assisted prostatectomy. The man’s family placed much of the blame for the decedent’s injuries on the training his doctor received from Intuitive. However, attorneys for the company successfully argued that the patient hadn’t been a good candidate for robot surgery, as he was morbidly obese. The defense also said that his surgeon had ignored Intuitive’s recommendations to choose simple cases for his first robotic surgeries.

Despite the loss in this first case, an attorney representing other da Vinci lawsuit plaintiffs told Bloomberg.com that there were “thousands of good cases out there,” and that plaintiffs would likely prevail in some of them.

In March 2013, a settlement was reported in a da Vinci surgery lawsuit that had been filed in federal court in Louisiana. According to court records in the U.S. District Court, Eastern District of Louisiana, the Plaintiff in the case was allegedly injured in a robot-assisted thyroid procedure. Like other robotic surgery lawsuits involving the da Vinci, the complaint had accused Intuitive of failing to adequately maintain the device, and failing to train hospital personnel on the use of and/or the troubleshooting of the robot. The terms of the settlement were not disclosed.

In an October 2013 filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Intuitive Surgical revealed that it had entered into tolling agreements in some da Vinci surgical lawsuits to extend the statute of limitations in those claims. The company stated that it did so to “provide the parties and their legal counsel with additional time to evaluate the claims, and to explore whether the claims have merit and whether they can be resolved without litigation.”

Last Modified: August 13, 2014

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